Vehicle Taxability

All title transfers and exemption claims on motor vehicles and other equipment is regularly audited by the Ohio Department of Taxation in accordance with Ohio Revised Code (RC) 4505.09(B)(2)(c) and 5739.13 to verify if the sales tax liability has been satisfied.

When a motor vehicle title is transferred, the price of the vehicle is reported to a Clerk of Courts Title Office and sales tax is paid on the price of the vehicle.   

 

Key Resources

Casual Sales – These sales are defined as the transfer of a motor vehicle title between two individuals who are not affiliated with a licensed dealership. Learn more here.  

Exemptions & Taxability – Ohio law allows certain vehicle transactions to be made without paying sales tax. Find out more here.

Leasing & Dealer Transactions – This link is for licensed dealerships to obtain more information on the application of sales tax to their transactions including leases.   

Aircraft – The sale of an aircraft may be subject to sales tax. This page will provide additional resources regarding the taxability of aircraft.

Watercraft & Outboard Motors – The transfer of a watercraft or outboard motor is generally taxed in the same manner as motor vehicles. Get the information you need here.

Downloads – Forms, questionnaires, and additional resources can be found on this page. Please click on the download link in order to see a list of available forms to download.

Did you receive a letter from us?  - This link will provide more information on notices that are sent and how best to respond.

 

Frequently Asked Questions Tool

The Ohio Department of Taxation has compiled a list of frequently asked questions covering many different categories.

To view the questions, click on the "Select Category" bar and then click on  the category you are interested in  .  A list of questions will appear pertaining to that category. Then click on the question you are inquiring about and the answer will appear.

  

Who is entitled to claim exemption from sales tax based on the "Highway Transportation for Hire" (TH) exemption?

Persons who transport personal property belonging to others for consideration over the highways are engaged in highway transportation for hire. These persons must be regulated by the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) or the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) and must provide the permit number issued by PUCO (PUCO XXXXXX) or the ICC (ICC XXXXXX or MC XXXXXX) on the exemption certificate.

Generally, the owner of the motor vehicle is the one who holds the PUCO or ICC/MC permit. However, the owner of the motor vehicle may contract with the PUCO/ICC/MC permit holder.  If the owner of a motor vehicle used in highway transportation for hire is not the permit holder, the owner must provide a copy of the contract that authorizes the owner to operate the vehicle under the PUCO/ICC/MC permit number.

Any motor vehicle (tractor/trailer rig, pick-up truck, automobile, van, sport utility vehicle and/or motorcycle) may qualify for the TH exemption if it is primarily used in highway transportation for hire. If the motor vehicle is used primarily as a parts vehicle or a vehicle used to transport drivers, it does not qualify for the exemption.

Effective July 1, 2003, tow-truck operators are required to be registered with the PUCO. Therefore, if they are transporting goods that belong to others, they may use the highway transportation for hire (TH) exemption code. They need to provide their PUCO number or their ICC/MC permit on the exemption certificate.

The highway transportation for hire exemption does not apply to those in the business of transporting people. For example, it does not cover bus companies, taxicab companies or limousine services.

This exemption does not apply to all-purpose vehicles, off-highway motorcycles, watercraft and outboard motors since they cannot be used to transport items over the highway.

The USDOT number cannot be used to qualify for the TH exemption as these individuals are hauling their own inventory/personal property and are not engaged in highway transportation for hire.

Who is entitled to claim exemption from sales tax based on the "Highway Transportation for Hire" (TH) exemption?

Persons who transport personal property belonging to others for consideration over the highways are engaged in highway transportation for hire. These persons must be regulated by the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) or the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) and must provide the permit number issued by PUCO (PUCO XXXXXX) or the ICC (ICC XXXXXX or MC XXXXXX) on the exemption certificate.

Generally, the owner of the motor vehicle is the one who holds the PUCO or ICC/MC permit. However, the owner of the motor vehicle may contract with the PUCO/ICC/MC permit holder.  If the owner of a motor vehicle used in highway transportation for hire is not the permit holder, the owner must provide a copy of the contract that authorizes the owner to operate the vehicle under the PUCO/ICC/MC permit number.

Any motor vehicle (tractor/trailer rig, pick-up truck, automobile, van, sport utility vehicle and/or motorcycle) may qualify for the TH exemption if it is primarily used in highway transportation for hire. If the motor vehicle is used primarily as a parts vehicle or a vehicle used to transport drivers, it does not qualify for the exemption.

Effective July 1, 2003, tow-truck operators are required to be registered with the PUCO. Therefore, if they are transporting goods that belong to others, they may use the highway transportation for hire (TH) exemption code. They need to provide their PUCO number or their ICC/MC permit on the exemption certificate.

The highway transportation for hire exemption does not apply to those in the business of transporting people. For example, it does not cover bus companies, taxicab companies or limousine services.

This exemption does not apply to all-purpose vehicles, off-highway motorcycles, watercraft and outboard motors since they cannot be used to transport items over the highway.

The USDOT number cannot be used to qualify for the TH exemption as these individuals are hauling their own inventory/personal property and are not engaged in highway transportation for hire.